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Religious press awards for The Southern Cross


The Southern Cross has been recognised with three major awards at the Australasian Religious Press Association Awards which were announced via a Zoom meeting on September 4.

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The newspaper received two gold awards and one silver award for coverage of topical issues, namely the COVID pandemic, unjust treatment of refugees and the abortion debate that took place in the SA Parliament in 2020/21.

The story ‘Family’s plea for prayers’ won gold in the best news story category. The judges described it as a “very personal COVID story about one family’s willingness to draw on the extensive Catholic network to pray for their husband and father stricken by the virus on the Ruby Princess”.

“The front page story was factual, personal, current, newsworthy and full of hope, using strong quotes without resorting to sentimentality,” the judges said.

The newspaper also won gold in the best social justice article category for its reporting on the plight of asylum seekers living on temporary protection visas, ‘When hope turns to despair’.

“A moving article that not only captured the stories of individuals but also the voice of the families,” the judges said.

“This article also wasn’t just about telling others’ stories but actually amplifying the voices of those impacted by these injustices. This article clearly articulated the human story about the structural injustice that exists and the impacts of that injustice such as poverty, mental health, and trauma.

“The writer opened our eyes beyond the mainstream headlines and rhetoric, and brought to life that asylum seekers and refugees are part of Australia and contributing to Australian society.”

In the best editorial/opinion piece category, The Southern Cross won silver for the editorial ‘The abortion debate we need to have’. The judges described it as “a topical, well-written opinion piece – with pertinent arguments too rarely found in the secular press”.

In the Australasian Catholic Press Association Awards, which were also announced via Zoom last month, senior journalist Lindy McNamara was runner-up in the best news content category for her story ‘Deportation is a second sentence for some prisoners’.

Jenny Brinkworth was runner-up in the feature category for ‘Miracle man turns to Mary in hour of need’.

A photo of Emeritus Bishop Greg O’Kelly SJ with his dog Jezebel next to him in the car (pictured), which featured with a front page story called ‘A Bishop’s best friend’, was runner-up in the best photography category. It was taken by freelance photographer Nat Rogers.


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